On November 30, 2016, the Governor for Montana declared a state of emergency for Montana's water bodies because invasive mussel larvae had been detected in the Canyon Ferry and Tiber Reservoirs. This is approximately 50 kilometers from the Columbia River watershed that flows from Alberta into BC and Washington State.
An Incident Command Team in Montana was set up for this emergency and have been working on the situation. Jon Trapp, Operations Section Chief for the Incident Command Team, shares the information about how they came to find the larvae. Please watch him on this video for the full background on this situation:
Emergency meetings were called by the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (http://www.pnwer.org/
invasive-species.html) well as for BC. On December 9th, US, western Canadian and Provincial partners met to discuss actions in response to this detection.
The LRISS Board strongly supports a call to action because of the potential damages that mussels could cause BC’s tourism economy as well as Hydro infrastructure. The Lillooet Region has multiple dams that supply power to BC. Mussels would cause severe damage and cost millions to treat fouled pipes. The Okanagan Water Board did a study of the economic impacts to their region alone including tourism. They estimate that it would cost their region alone $40 million dollars annually if mussels were to be introduced.
LRISS is following the situation closely and will be communicating with its partners. All information regarding the Montana emergency can be found on:http://musselresponse.mt.gov/